Events Calendar
Apr 27
10:00 - 16:00
Ancient Romans: what were they really like?
short courses

Study Day: 27 April 2019

Saturday: 10.00 – 16.00

Course code: 18TON387

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We have all heard about gladiators and chariot racing in the Roman world, but here is a chance to explore some of the lesser known aspects of life in ancient Rome. Using translations of original sources and images of artefacts, we shall probe into the personal lives of ancient Romans.

Films and books have left us all with a feeling that we 'know' the ancient Romans. But do we? During this course we shall ask a number of questions about the Romans. What did they look like? Did they write shopping lists? How did you choose a partner? What kept the gods on your side? To try to answer these questions, we shall read what the Romans had to say about themselves in English translations of Pliny, Ovid, Catullus and others; we shall consider some of the many objects which have survived from their world, from hair nets to tombstones.

Additional information

This Study Day is suitable for all, no prior knowledge is required. It allows you to spend time exploring a subject for interest, among like-minded people, without formal assessment. 

There will be optional discussion opportunities during the day.

Intended learning outcomes

For students to:

  • explore some of the less well known aspects of ancient Roman life.
  • discover facts about Roman life in Latin literature. 
  • interact with the Romans through inscriptions and artefacts.

      About the tutor

      Christine Spillane PhD graduated from the University of Reading where she undertook research into imagery in Virgil's Aeneid. Her doctoral thesis with the Open University examined Late Antique and Mediaeval illuminated manuscripts of the Aeneid. She is an experienced teacher of both secondary school students and adults.Christine seeks to inspire her students with a similar enthusiasm for the Classical world as she holds herself, not least by encouraging her students to look at artefacts in museums and by organising visits to the Classical world. When reading texts, she encourages a co-operative spirit in her students to investigate style and sound, in addition to moulding a good translation.


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